Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, Saddam Hussein’s former deputy and wanted Iraqi insurgent leader, has released a speech. In the audio, the Baathist leader comments on several recent events, refuting reports that he had been killed last month. The speech was released on Al Tagheer, a Baathist channel.
According to The Guardian, Al Douri commented on the deployment of Shiite militias in Nukhayb: “Nukhayb represents a strategic position for Iran inside Iraq, and one of the aims of occupying Nukhayb is to open a front against Saudi Arabia.” The deployment of these militias happened after he was reported killed on Apr. 17.
“What is going on in our country is a direct and comprehensive Persian occupation,” Al Douri continued. “Everyone has been placed under the Iranian iron tent, and after today, no one is able to stand or express his or her opinion and belief.”
He went on to discuss his support for the arming of Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen, which he claims will not lead to a divisive Iraq. Al Douri also spoke highly of Saudi King Salman and the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi rebels.
Al Douri also commented on the reports that he and his group, the Baathist Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order (JRTN), were still allied to the Islamic State. “We do cross paths … but what stops us from meeting is that even if we wanted to, they would not accept because they consider the Baath infidels,” according to a translation from The Guardian. He also claimed that at least a third of the Baathist leaders are being held by the Islamic State.
Last month, al Douri was said to have been killed by Iraqi Security Forces and Shiite militiamen in the Badr Organization. CNN reported that, based on Shia militia commander Hadi al Ameri, “Al Douri was killed in an operation by Iraqi security forces and Shia militia members in the Hamrin Mountains between Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq.” Hadi al Ameri is the Iranian-backed commander of the Badr Organization.
Al Douri’s alleged corpse was then transferred to the Hezbollah Brigades, another Shia militia supported by Iran, which then gave the body to the Iraqi government in Baghdad. Before it was transferred, at least one Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was photographed with a set of the remains.
The Iraqi government is still conducting DNA tests on the body, but the new audio release seems to prove al Douri is alive despite the claims of several Shiite militias and the Iraqi government.
Oren Adaki provided some of the translations for this article.
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